Citizen Journalism and Mobile Tech: Live from Blog Potomac

By Renee Revetta | Oct 23, 2009
More Articles by Renee

iPhone DesktopImage by powerbooktrance via Flickr

Continuing the discussion here at Blog Potomac, Natalia Luckyanova from iMangi Studios spoke about mobile phone applications. Her company makes games and applications for the iPhone.  Natalia said her market is very competitive, so she has to think of ways to stand out. Her company uses social media to promote their games, and players can choose to tweet about the game or their score, but it isn’t imposed on the user.  The brand also uses YouTube videos, a blog, Twitter, and gaming forums to build a community between players.  She noted that there are also social change applications out there to report something that’s wrong in your neighborhood – like a pothole.

When asked about augmented reality, Natalia thinks its use has been pretty limited so far.  The only game she knows of so far has been a kid’s game.  The real potential for augmented realist hasn’t been tapped yet in the market, although Natalia thinks people will make exciting things with it.

And for those of you who still believe that gamers are 13 year old boys, think again. Actually, more than 50% of gamers are women. And most of those mobile users are coming from the iPhone and other cellular companies are trying to play catch up right now.  For example, she doesn’t think Blackberry has issues with their hardware, but with their business model.

Andy Carvin of Nation Public Radio, filled in for Shane Lennon of GyPSii and did a great job.  He spoke about volunteerism and trust, network and citizen journalism.  He said the internet is a place where you can donate skills, and basically anyone can be a citizen journalist. The problem here lies in the question, “Who can you trust?” We can only truly trust the people we know. For example, Carvin knew one person in Mumbai @Dina and contacted her for trustworthy information about the protests. People did use the hashtag #Mumbai to help track the events in Mumbai, but so many started using it in an incorrect content it became irrelevant.

During the Iran election, people changed their Twitter location to Tehran, but weren’t actually there.  With the invisible nature of the internet who’s to say you’re in Tehran or not.  Reporting through Twitter also occurred when there was a small tremor in Northern VA, but it was originally reported an an explosion. Because of the speed of social media, Twitter self corrected this breaking news before the networks could.

Because of citizen journalism, NPR collected 40,000 pieces of information from people surrounding the Inauguration. As noted here at Blog Potomac, no one can do journalism alone. People are needed on the ground to spread the word about breaking news, and social media helps us to do just that.

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